BABY WATCH: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Giraffe is in Labor

October 19, 2022

Bailey, a 10-year-old reticulated giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, is in active labor. The giraffe barn will remain closed and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will provide updates to media as soon as possible.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will broadcast updates from its Facebook page and YouTube live stream.

Facebook Page:
Live Birth Cam (YouTube feed):
Photos of Bailey:

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will distribute a news release with an on-site media opportunities schedule, video, photos and greater detail as soon as possible.

Background information:

The Zoo’s records show that Bailey bred with bull, Khalid (kuh-LEED’), on June 19, 2021. Giraffe pregnancies typically range between 14 and 16 months. The 15-month mark is today: October 19, 2020.

There are 16 reticulated giraffe in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo herd. This calf would bring the number to 17.

“Giraffe calves can be fragile, so we try to encourage people to be realistic about the risks while they enjoy the excitement of the hope we know giraffe calves bring to so many,” said Jason Bredahl, African Rift Valley animal care manager. “We’re optimistic that advances in medicine, like the availability of giraffe plasma and stem cell treatments, will help us navigate any medical needs the calf may have.”

CMZoo takes precautions for the well-being of mom and calf by providing a sand-floor stall for Bailey, separate from the rest of the herd. In anticipation of the birth, Bailey was moved to a sand stall on September 19, which CMZoo staff anticipated was the earliest date Bailey could go into labor.

During the day, when the herd went outside, she remained with them in the main yard. At night, she moved to the sand stall. The sand helps mom and baby in a few ways: by preventing injury to the calf upon the five-foot drop it encounters as it’s born, by providing a more absorbent substrate that helps prevent slips for the baby’s first steps, and by providing a cushion for the calf as it learns to walk and inevitably stumbles.

Bailey was born at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Omaha, Neb., in March 2012 and moved to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on a breeding recommendation in Sept. 2016. This will be Bailey’s second calf. CMZoo’s breeding program began in 1954 and has welcomed more than 200 calves since its inception.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2020, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #4 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 233 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.